A day for women?

by Faith Ongeziwe Qinga

In present-day society, maleness is associated with all things muscular and superior and femaleness is generally associated with all things inferior. It is quite evident that true equality is a distant reality for females…This general view of males needs to be eradicated. Women need to be valued and shown the same amount of respect as their male equivalents.

It has been an uphill battle from the start and it is far from the top. And because of this, women need to stand together and empower one another. We need to be strong and become more courageous.

Zimbokodo, let’s focus on the task at hand; there need to be more female role models who inspire young women, and also more women who fight to see their aspirations materialise. Media practitioners; an aiding discussion is needed to embrace all the achievements and contributions that women have added to the country.

Oh, how easy it is to downplay the importance of Women’s Day- a day just for women? Why is it needed, you ask? Well, Women’s Day provides a safe space for women who are often denied the opportunity of speaking about the inequality that they experience on a daily basis, and this day of national importance sparks the discussion on day-to-day issues and if narrated correctly, it will help steer public opinion.

You must look back as well as forward, and remember the struggle that women faced throughout the centuries in gaining basic rights that are taken for granted in certain countries. You must remember the sheroes that helped mould South Africa and continue to lead the country forward.

Our views of our day gather a common perspective of absolute strength, courage, elegance, and dominance. A day to celebrate ubayiMBOKODO.

The 9th of August is to celebrate the achievements of the courageous women in South Africa. As many writers’ put it, “a reminder of the great women who helped mould South Africa and continue to lead the country forward”.

This is no ordinary public holiday, we are commemorating the remarkable 9 August 1956 protest which was led by Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophie Williams, and Lilian Ngoyi. On this day, 20 000 women participated in a national march and empowered themselves to rise against the legislation that required black South Africans to carry the pass and they petitioned against those apartheid pass laws.

Chanting “wathint’abafazi wathint’imbokodo!”, they marched bravely…As peaceful as the march was, the walk to the Union Buildings to deliver petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures demonstrated the anger and frustration that blacks carried in having their freedom of movement restricted.

This day for women is a celebration of the female struggle stalwarts who fought for the legacy of women to be recognised and equally treated on their capabilities alongside their male counterparts. Gone are the days where women were subjugated. Take charge and never be afraid of steering that driver’s seat. You strike a woman, you strike a rock! Let’s continue being brave in fighting for our rights.

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